Cricket announces Phone Payment Plan, Muve Music 4.0, and two new Samsung Galaxy smartphonesAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Cricket owner Leap Wireless may have recently agreed to be acquired by AT&T, but that doesn't mean that the prepaid operator can't announce a major new policy in the interim. Cricket today revealed its new Phone Payment Plan, a new program to help customers more easily pay the full retail cost of the smartphones . Launching on July 21, the Phone Payment Plan can be used with Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy devices, and other hardware.
The Phone Payment Plan will have three financing options available to consumers. The No Interest plan will require a down payment of 4 percent of the total price of the phone at the time of purchase, followed by 4 percent of the remaining amount spread over 24 months. The Deferred Interest option requires a down payment of 5 percent and a minimum monthly payment of 5 percent, but the customer can avoid incurring interest by paying the phone off within 6 months. Finally, the No Credit Check plan requires an initial payment of at least 8 percent and has a "same as cash" option for the first 90 days, giving customers another way to avoid interest.
We'd heard that Cricket was testing a phone financing program late in 2012, and it seems that the pilot went well enough for Cricket to roll it out nationwide. The prepaid operator has been adding some high-end hardware to its lineup recently, including the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S 4, but those devices can be rather pricey since Cricket doesn't offer subsidies. This new Phone Payment Plan ought to help consumers buy the higher-end devices that they want rather than having to settle for something else because it's cheaper, which should help lead them to being happier with their phone purchase and their service.
Along with its new Phone Payment Plan, Cricket today revealed that it's launching a major update to its Muve Music app. Muve Music version 4.0 features a new UI that Cricket says will allow for easier exploration of the service's music as well as improved navigation. Also included with the update is support for any type of SD card and Muve Mixes, which are custom playlists made by Cricket's "Muve Music experts." Muve Music 4.0 is available for the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Admire 2, and Galaxy Discover. The new app will also come preloaded on all future Android-powered Cricket phones.
Speaking of the Samsung Galaxy Admire 2 and Galaxy Discover, Cricket today announced that the two new devices will soon be landing on its shelves. Here's the skinny on both models:
- Samsung Galaxy Admire 2: Sports a 4-inch 800x480 display and 1.3-megapixel camera on its face, as well as a 5-megapixel shooter around back. Crammed inside is a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 4GB storage, 1GB RAM, 4GB microSD card, NFC, 2,100mAh battery, and 4G LTE connectivity. The Admire 2 comes preloaded with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
- Samsung Galaxy Discover: Includes a 3.5-inch 480x320 touchscreen, 800MHz Snapdragon chip, 3-megapixel rear camera, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM, 4GB microSD card, and a 1,500mAh battery powering the whole package. The Galaxy Discover comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich preinstalled, but an update to Android 4.1 is planned for this summer.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Admire 2 and Galaxy Discover are slated to launch on July 21, with pricing set at $269.99 and $129.99, respectively. Images of both devices can be found below.